8 Mouth-watering Dishes to Try in Jeju

Though Jeju is famous for its beautiful sceneries, it would be remiss of you for not trying their local delicacies. A good way to appreciate and better understand Jeju’s culture and history is through its food.

Read on to find out 8 Mouth-watering dishes that you have to try for the full Jeju experience.

Black Pork BBQ (흑돼지)

Black Pig is a pig breed native to Jeju Island. Black Pork is arguably the most famous food in Jeju Island and a must try. There are plenty of dishes which includes this highly touted meat, but the most popular way is to eat it over the grill – KBBQ style!

You can find Black Pork KBBQ places easily in Jeju, there is even a Black Pork Street in Jeju lined with many Black Pork BBQ Places. The unique chewiness and melty fats of Black Pork makes it a legendary food of Jeju.


Abalone Porridge (전복죽)

Haenyeo (Jeju Women Divers) are a community of women, some in their 80s, which goes diving under the sea to gather shellfish, and other seafood for a living, all without the help of an oxygen mask. They are prominent figures in Jeju’s culture and history, so much so that there is even a maze built after them.

One of the many shellfishes they harvest are abalones. Due to the strong sea currents in Jeju, abalones in Jeju are required to move extensively in the sea. This has caused the abalones in Jeju to be much chewier in texture.

Abalone Porridge is one of the most iconic dishes in Jeju. The yellowish bowl of porridge may not seem that fancy, but the rich briny taste will leave you wanting more. Since abalone is abundant in Jeju, it is best if you could get fresh abalone. If you’re by the coast, visit a Haenyeo House for a bowl of abalone porridge with freshly harvested abalone.


Dombe Gogi (돔베고기)


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Dombe Gogi is Boiled Pork, served on a wooden cutting board. This is another way to serve black pork in Jeju. Traditionally, it was reserved for special occasions like weddings and funerals, not a dish locals frequently ate in the past. Now, it is a famed local dish that can be found relatively easily.

Dombe Gogi is served with gernerous portions of Ssambap Jeongsik and sometimes rice. Jeju locals enjoy dipping the pork slices in coarse salt or vinegar-mixed soy sauce for the best flavours.


Omegi Tteok (오메기떡)


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Omegi Tteok is a specialty rice cake from Jeju. Due to the rocky soils of Jeju, the island residents could not plant rice. Instead, they grew millet and barley instead. Omegi Tteok was originally not intended to be eaten as a rice cake, and incidentally came about during the process of making liquor, more specifically Omegiseul (Hulled Glutinous Millet Wine).

‘Tteok’ is rice cake, but Omegi Tteok is not made of rice but by kneading millet powder. The millet dough is stuffed with red bean and rolled into a ball or donut shape. It is then covered in crushed red beans, bean powder and nuts. You can find this dish at traditional markets in Jeju.


Gogi Guksu (고기국수)


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Gogi Guksu can be loosely translated into Pork Noodles. This dish is another representative food of Jeju. The lack of rice grown in Jeju has subsequently popularised noodle dishes.

Chewy noodles, flavourful yet light broth topped with simmered sliced pork. This dish is not hard to find in Jeju but you may want to head down to the famed Noodle Culture Street. Gogi Guksu is native to Jeju Island so you must not miss it if you are visiting!


Kkwong Memil Kalguksu (꿩메밀칼국수)


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Another noodle dish! Kkwong Memil Kalguksu is loosely translated into “Knife-cut Buckwheat Noodle Soup with Pheasant”.  You will find many buckwheat dishes in Jeju as it is the largest producer of buckwheat in Korea. Pheasant is a type of bird that is in the same family as chickens and turkeys, and can occasionally be found in Asian cuisines. In Jeju, there is substantial number of pheasants in the middle-mountain. Thus, the creation of Kkwong Memil Kalguksu.

Knife-cut noodles are usually thicker, wider and shorter than normal noodles. Pairing it with a light pheasant broth, you will be pheasant-ly surprised with how nicely they pair together. This traditional dish is a specialty dish in Jeju that you should definitely try if you get the chance to.


Buckwheat Pancake (빙떡)

Buckwheat Pancake is a local traditional dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It can only be found in some parts of Gangwon-do and Jeju, areas with a abundance of buckwheat production.

You can kind of compare it to a popiah, but a healthier version. The “skin” is made from buckwheat powder, and it is filled with salted radish slices. This dish is extremely popular amongst the elders and can be found in any traditional markets in Jeju.


Hallabong (한라봉)

Hallabong is not a dish but a fruit. It is the most popular variety of Korean Tangerines in the world. This fruit is native to Jeju, and have gotten its name from Hallasan, a famed mountain in Jeju Island that it is said to resemble. Hallabong are easily recognisable by their protruding stem.

You can probably find many dishes and drinks in Korea that incorporates the Hallabong tangerines, even souvenirs at Jeju specialty shops.

The harvesting season for this fruit is in December – March. If you are in Jeju then, head down to a Hallabong farm to harvest your own fresh Hallabong! Most of the farms charge you a flat fee and give you a bucket to fill. You can eat and harvest the fruits at the same time. If that’s not enough for you, order the Hallabong tangerines by the kilo for takeaway!


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